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  • Weather forecast for Malta: 100% chance of rain | BEYONDbones
    almost 50 inches of rain per year Turns out this year they re getting most of their rain today Which is an extremely good thing for the town and the local citizens as they re in the middle of an extreme drought cycle that is threatening cattle and crops But it also make it very difficult to navigate dirt roads climb up steep inclines or any other of the things you need to do to get to a paleontological site and work on it So we ve been stuck inside all day working on fossils at the Dinosaur Field Station the local prep lab and fossil preservation facility and getting ready to go when the weather does clear The people who own the property we are working on have offered the use of something called a six wheeler to get out to the site which sounds spectacularly dangerous But when you ve already done this you ve pretty much conquered all fear Well I should say they ve conquered all fear I was standing on the solid ground above taking this picture Hopefully we ll be able to get out to the sites soon so more on our adventures later

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/weather-forecast-for-malta-100-chance-of-rain/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Animal-eye view: Q&A with Crittercam inventor Greg Marshall | BEYONDbones
    to raise their young so we can wait for them to come to us The hardest animals we have deployed Crittercam on are leopard seals These are large predatory seals that live in the Antarctic pack ice They are solitary and widely spaced so they are hard to find hard to approach hard to sedate and just plain hard to work with It took us six months to conduct one deployment But despite the challenge leopard seals also embody the reason we do this work their world is melting yet we do not know the simplest things about them We are changing this planet we need to understand the impact our behavior has on the creatures we share this planet with so we can protect their future and our own 3 What contributions has Crittercam technology made to our understanding of animal behavior What is the most surprising thing you have discovered through the use of this technology Collaborating with scientists around the world we have deployed Crittercams on whales sharks sea turtles seals penguins sirenians and fish We ve also now evolved the concept from sea to land and have worked with lions tigers and bears A leash with a lens Crittercam on a female lion What the system captures during deployment on wild free ranging animals is data from the animal s point of view insights into their fundamental behavior and ecology This data helps us to understand how the animals function in their environment We publish in peer reviewed journals and our papers are read by like minded scientists who can use these published results to help impact management decisions In an ongoing research collaboration with NOAA we discovered the endangered Hawaiian monk seals critical foraging habitat Not only did we capture animal borne imaging data that fundamentally changed our understanding of the animal and what it needs to survive but as a by product of the research we produced the PBS Special Hawaiian Monk Seals Surviving Paradise raising awareness about an endangered species few people even know exist In collaboration with SCRIPPS we deployed Crittercams on emperor penguins and experienced for the first time ever how they hunt and feed under the ice We told that story in Emperors of the Ice another PBS Special and used some of these same images in the Oscar winning feature film March of the Penguins These and our other films are geared for a lay audience but carry a strong conservation message Our ultimate objective is to inspire people to care because that is after all the only way we ll ever do the hard work of conversation 4 How does the technology continue to develop and what kind of testing is involved Are there any animals that could not wear Crittercam How did you make sure that the cameras are safe for animals to wear As technology progresses so does Crittercam I have a dedicated team at National Geographic and we are constantly working to make the systems

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/animal-eye-view-qa-with-crittercam-inventor-greg-marshall/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Polo! | BEYONDbones
    what I was looking for Then the group split up to start searching the nearby area I started by scrambling up the narrow ledges to the top of a hill I searched for nearly a half hour without finding anything of value However at the top of one hill just below a jutting rock I found a fragment that I thought might be bone It was small about the length of my thumb but a little skinnier It looked a little like petrified wood I saw several of these pieces lying around so I mentally noted the spot and went back to find David He told me that I had found a piece of a dinosaur rib I excitedly went to go show Mark who was gathering everyone else in order to move to another site However I showed him my rib and told him that there were several more pieces at the site He followed me back to the location and began to look around He immediately noticed the ribs lying on the ground and found several other bone fragments near by He then found something really exciting Jutting out from the rock was a gigantic dinosaur shoulder blade He also showed me a few other bones visible in the rock as well as a few tendons He called over the other paleontologists and we began a more extensive search finding several pieces of bone fragments scattered down the side of the hill Bakker then told me to clear my head and think of two syllables and informed me that that would become the name of the site I had no time to think but the first name that popped into my head was Marco I was thinking of the explorer Marco Polo I have named a dig site I have found pieces to a dinosaur a baby duckbill dinosaur to be precise And tomorrow the rest of the team and I will return to the dig site to dig up the rock that the shoulder blade was in and see if we can find more of Marco Just a note We got lots of great photos today but due to technical difficulties we ll have to upload them in the morning Be sure to check back it is amazingly beautiful here UPDATE Here are a few more photos Some of the first bone fragments that Steven found at Marco Steven and Bakker examine the Marco Site 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Paleontology and tagged Cretaceous dinosaur duckbill fossils HMNS leonardo marco polo Paleontology by Steven Bookmark the permalink About Steven Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country After all he majored in History at Vassar College Within three months of graduation he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since He is fast becoming a communications fanatic spending

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/polo/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Back in the Saddle | BEYONDbones
    the horse has served to both shape and define human history From the time the horse was first hunted by our paleolithic ansectors for food to the upcoming Summer Olympics the history of horse and humans is both varried and diverse In class we check out ancient cave paintings at Lascaux and investigate how the stirrup changed Middle Age Europe The children have discovered how different prehistoric wild horses were from the domesticated horses we are familiar with today They also become familiar with the bredback Tarpan which is phenotipically the closest thing we have to a true prehistoric wild horse Check out this incredible photo that one of the Museum s former employees took when she visited the Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky Horses rock Kids can learn more about all the cool things you can do with horses through the Pony Club I d love to here how you think horses have changed the world Post a comment and let me know 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged history of horses horses Lascaux Middle Ages prehistoric horses stirrup stirup Summer Olympics tarpan wild horses by Kat Bookmark the permalink About Kat Kat

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/back-in-the-saddle/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Adventures in Beekeeping | BEYONDbones
    I used were Dadant Brushy Mountain and Rossman Apiaries They all have pretty much the same equipment at comparable prices Basic startup needs include the hive itself which consists of a box filled with frames called the hive body The hive body sits on a stand and has an inner and outer cover Here s a link that shows you all the parts of a hive All these components are made of wood and must be assembled and painted so you need to order these things this well in advance You also need a bee suit a smoker a hive tool a Boardman feeder and a couple of entrance reducers strips of wood used to control the size of the bees entrance to the hive It took me quite a while to get all the components and put them together However this helped to increase my sense of anticipation We mark the queen bee with a blue dot in the museum s hive I ordered my bees from a local supplier back in the fall you need to order bees in advance as suppliers sometimes run out A starter colony consists of 3 pounds of bees about 10 000 bees I m told and a queen The bees come in a wooden box with screened sides not that big a box either maybe about 12 long by 6 wide and deep The queen is in a much smaller box inside the main box In our area starter colonies are available for pickup in early April We got our bees from B Weaver Apiaries in Navasota one of the main local suppliers of honeybees Unfortunately I was out of town on the weekend they were distributed but my neighbors who also decided to keep bees this year picked mine up along

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/adventures-in-beekeeping/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Maltastic! | BEYONDbones
    equipment and assorted gear to the rental car that s why they invented shuttles Thrifty Rent A Car And then a four hour drive through some of the most beautiful and also most mind bogglingly at least for this city girl endless scenery you ve ever seen Giant expanses of nothingness for miles around Well there are cows And really really long fences There are even fossils along the roads we stopped several times to check them out And fossils Absolutely spectacular fossils which is of course why we are making this epic journey Leonardo one of the most spectacular fossils ever found is a proud Malta native along with many other significant finds from Montana circa 80 million BCE It was a different place then giant herds of Brachylophosaurs like Leonardo the buffalo of their era roamed the seashore Montana had a beach as Pterosaurs swooped by overhead and giant sea reptiles swam the nearby inland sea with giant turtles and ammonites We re going to explore that world this week with Dr Robert Bakker Mark Thompson and several other noted paleontologists who have been working in this area for many years Leave us a comment with your questions

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/maltastic/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Committed to the Museum or just needing to be committed? | BEYONDbones
    returned to the scene The worst part was actually grabbing the critter I picked it up through the trash sack but there was still a lot of dripping and odor eeeewwww So into the trashcan and then doubled bag and then into a cattle lick tub the critter went It road home in the trunk and was then transferred to the garage where it proceeded to live for the next year or so This past Saturday we began a long and terrifying process we decided to clean out the garage While unearthing the cement slab I rediscovered the bones in their cheery bright blue tub and decided today s the day With the neighbor kids bearing witness I sliced open the bags and was pleasantly surprised to find a dried mostly articulated odor free skeleton I dumped it into the clean blue bin with some water and some bleach to soak Periodically I would dump and refill the water and add more bleach Each time I have dumped the water out bits of grody come with it pieces of flesh tendons skin that hold the skeleton together One time I even picked out a towel sized piece of leatherized skin Soooo gross The mystery bones in the bright blue tub So the skeleton isn t quite as articulated as it once was The water and bleach and the spring heat are breaking down the remaining tissues On the other hand I feel much better about touching this thing knowing it has been soaked in bleach It is probably important to note at this point that I have never mounted a skeleton before Like most projects that are embarked on at our house I am sort of jumping right in and figuring it out as I go I do have a

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/committed-to-the-museum-or-just-needing-to-be-committed/ (2016-02-12)
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  • A Greener Life | BEYONDbones
    how our clothes are made how hospitals and other services are run Individual households use about 1 5 of US energy consumption The other 4 5 is used by industry and government The implication of the article is that there is nothing we can do about this threshold I think this assumption must be examined as it denigrates the power of democracy We do have impact on what our government does and how it regulates business and our lives but most people don t know how or have enough interest to care because our lives are so comfortable photo credit PBoGS The first step in participating in the decision making in our country is education Back to Civics 101 Where do we learn about energy If you are a beginner the easiest information is on children s energy education Web sites In the news media we learn that all levels of our US government are carrying out initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint An example is the recent Houston City Council passage of green building codes for commercial buildings The US Green Building Council is a non government non profit group of organizations in the building industry who have established principles for building which are environmentally and socially responsible LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a voluntary consensus based national rating system for developing high performance sustainable buildings The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy sponsor an energy efficiency program called Energy Star photo credit Ryan McD The goal is to find ways to contribute to bettering our carbon footprint You can come to the Wiess Energy Hall and learn all about petroleum and alternative energies so that you have the knowledge you need when you participate in conservation efficiency safety and pollution programs So yes

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/05/a-greener-life/ (2016-02-12)
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